Prosecutors have filed murder charges against two people — including a suspect arrested in Las Vegas on Thursday — in the brazen daytime robbery and killing of Philadelphia rapper PnB Rock at a South Los Angeles restaurant, authorities said.
For the record:
8:30pm Sept 29, 2022An earlier version of this article said three people were charged with murder. A man and a teenage boy were charged with murder. A third suspect faces other charges.
Freddie Lee Trone, 40, and a 17-year-old boy were charged with murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. A third suspect, Shauntel Trone, 38, was charged with robbery and being an accessory after the fact.
The teenage boy, who was not identified because of his age, fired the shot that claimed the rapper’s life, according to a criminal complaint made public Thursday.
Shauntel Trone and the teenager were arrested Tuesday, and an FBI-led task force captured Freddie Lee Trone in Las Vegas around 1 pm on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Freddie Lee and Shauntel Trone are married, said Greg Risling, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. The teenager is Freddie Lee Trone’s son, according to law enforcement sources who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation with the media. The teen and Shauntel Trone are not related, Risling said.
Rock, 30, whose real name was Rakim Allen, had been at the Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles location on Manchester Avenue with his girlfriend, Stephanie Sibounheuang, on Sept. 12 when the assailants walked up to their table and demanded jewelry and other valuables . The jewelry was valued at “several hundreds of thousands of dollars,” according to the criminal complaint.
While some expressed concern that Rock may have been targeted after his girlfriend posted a picture to Instagram showing that they were at the chicken restaurant, law enforcement sources have told The Times that Freddie Lee Trone and his son were at the Roscoe’s parking lot before any social Media posts related to the rapper’s presence there were published.
The teen approached Rock with a mask on, pointed a gun at him and shouted, “Give me all of your jewelry now,” according to the complaint. Prosecutors allege he shot the rapper once in the chest while he sat at a table, then twice more in the back.
Seconds later, the teen allegedly threatened to shoot Sibounheuang in the head and took several pieces of jewelry off Rock’s body.
The teen appeared in juvenile court Thursday, and it was not immediately clear whether prosecutors will seek to try him as an adult.
“The decision of whether or not we seek to transfer a minor to adult court is not one taken lightly,” said Tiffiny Blacknell, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. “The office will not comment on the minor’s suitability for juvenile court without a thorough review of his background, the law and the circumstance surrounding the case.”
A court date has not been set for Freddie Lee Trone, but prosecutors said they will immediately seek to have him extradited from Nevada. Shauntel Trone was scheduled to be arranged in the Compton Courthouse on Thursday.
Los Angeles County Dist. atty George Gascón barred his prosecutors from trying juveniles as adults when he took office, but created a path to exceptions to that policy this year.
Rock’s ability to blend melodies with his rapping made him a natural fit for modern day hip-hop. He gained national prominence with the 2015 single “Fleek,” turning the viral Vine video into an anthem for women across the country. He went on to collaborate with a bevy of artists, including Ed Sheeran and Chance the Rapper on “Cross Me.”
Times staff writer Kenan Draughorne contributed to this report.
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